Source: IRENA statistics
GGA Partners in Africa
African Development Bank (AfDB) – a multilateral development institution involved in mobilising and allocating resources for investment, including in geothermal projects, as well as providing policy and technical advice to spur economic development among member countries.
African Union Commission (AUC) – the secretariat of the African Union, the continental body established in 2002 to drive Africa’s growth and development through the integration and co‑operation of African states. The AUC hosts the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF).
Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP) – a specialised electric power institution of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), established in 2005 to facilitate optimum development of energy resources and ease access to electricity supply for the region’s people through regional power interconnection.
New Partnership for African Development (Nepad) – the development agency of the African Union, mandated to co‑ordinate and execute priority regional and continental development projects, such as key energy projects, to promote regional integration towards the accelerated realisation of Agenda 2063 – Africa’s vision and action plan.
Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE) – an intergovernmental organisation that aims to enable and increase the adoption of renewable energy and energy efficiency practices in the Arab region through capacity development and learning, policies and regulations, research and statistics, and technical assistance.
Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP) – created in 1995 within the framework of Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), to optimise the use of the available energy resources in the southern Africa region.
Regional geothermal projects and programmes in Africa
Africa Geothermal Centre of Excellence (AGCE) – an initiative stemming from co‑operation between the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Icelandic International Development Agency (ICEIDA) and geothermal developers in Kenya to support the development of geothermal energy through skilled manpower development.
African Rift Geothermal Development Facility (ARGeo) – a Global Environment Facility-funded project being implemented by UNEP, geared to offering geothermal technical assistance to governments as well as networking, capacity-building and advisory services.
BGR Geothermal Programme for East Africa (2016–2020) – a programme by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) to support improved technical and institutional capacities, regulatory frameworks and technical information to enhance investment and development of geothermal resources.
East Africa Geothermal Energy Facility (EAGER) (2015–2018) – a programme funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to support growth of the geothermal sector through technical assistance on various aspects of geothermal development and by highlighting best practices.
East Africa Geothermal Exploration Project (2013–2017) – a project by ICEIDA and the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) to enhance knowledge and capacity mainly in geothermal exploration, as well as to finance early stages of geothermal development, leading to test drilling.
East Africa Geothermal Partnership (EAGP) – a public-private partnership established in 2012 between the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the US Energy Association (USEA), which collaborates with the private sector, regional organisations, international donors and East African institutions to identify immediate geothermal goods and services needs in the Rift Valley region.
Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF) – an initiative to support geothermal development by providing grants for geothermal surface studies, exploration drilling and early-stage infrastructure development; established in 2012 by the AUC with support from BMZ and the EU–Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund through Entwicklungsbank (KfW), and later from DFID in 2014.
GRO Geothermal Training Programme (GRO GTP) Sustainable Development Short Course – an annual training course facilitated by Iceland’s GRO GTP to build geothermal technical capacity in the region within a limited timeframe to contribute to the realisation of SDG 7; the course targets young engineers and scientists who are active or potential employees in the region’s geothermal industry.
New Zealand–Africa Geothermal Facility – established between the government of New Zealand and the AUC in 2017, the facility offers technical assistance, capacity building and assistance to those applying for GRMF financing.
Power Africa – a partnership created under the US Electrify Africa Act 2015 charged with increasing installed electricity in sub-Saharan Africa by 30 000 MW and connecting 60 million households and businesses to electricity by 2030; the programme is supporting a pipeline of about 20 geothermal projects in Africa, representing a generation potential of more than 2 300 MW.
Regional Geothermal Resource/Market assessment in Africa
The East African Rift System (EARS) is made up of the eastern and western branches, with a great degree of geological diversity between them. This translates into wide variations in the geothermal systems in the region, in terms of their heat sources, reservoir characteristics, resource grades and potential end uses.
The techniques that have guided successful geothermal exploration in the eastern EARS branch (Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya) cannot be wholly applied to the exploration of prospect areas in the western branch. This is because of the differences in the tectonic and magmatic states of the two systems.
As a result, the technical workshop on the geological development and geophysics of the western branch of the EARS was organised in 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda, to gain a deeper understanding of the geological development and geophysical characteristics of the western EARS, as well as of the geochemical characteristics of the thermal fluids discharged at the surface. The workshop recommended the appropriate methodologies for geothermal exploration in the western branch.
UNEP and ARGeo carried out a skills audit and gap analysis in 2015 to identify the gaps in the skills base, as well as the needs and expectations for skilled manpower, for geothermal development in Africa. The analysis was prepared in connection with the long-term objective to establish the African Geothermal Centre of Excellence (AGCE).
The analysis focused on the 13 countries of the EARS: Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. The analysis also supported planning for relevant geothermal training and research to meet strategic objectives to develop geothermal resources in each of the 13 African countries by 2030.